Packing is stressful. In fact it's probably the most stressful part of a holiday. Once it's done you can relax and crack open the overpriced beverages on the aeroplane. Until then, the anxiety of what you have and haven’t forgotten, is enough to make some of us wish we'd stayed at home. For those people, here's a handy check-list of what not to forget:
Passport and tickets
An important part of any holiday, and guaranteed to speed things up at the airport.
All your travel details
When it's all saved neatly on your computer, travel plans are easy to access and find. When you're struggling with hand luggage, a holdall, and several bottles of duty-free Bacardi, trying to find a booking code for your airport transfer is more tricky. Write down/save all your essential holiday booking codes, insurance references, dates and times, addresses and contacts in one place that's easy to grab when necessary.
When on holiday you want all the luxuries you have at home, but you don't really want to carry them. 100ml bottles of hand cream aren’t really necessary for a week in the Maldives. Stock up on your favourite travel toiletries before you go. They will reduce the weight of your baggage without reducing the quality of your experience.
Adapters and chargers
If you like listening to music on your hols, don't forget to pack your iPod/MP3 player and phone charger (and international socket adapter!). If you don't, the flight home will be much quieter than the journey over. Also, a lot of electrical items require USB charging rather than mains, so it might be best to get an adapter for whatever devices you require.
Just because there's a McDonald’s, doesn't mean you're still in England. Buy plenty of the local currency before you go. Work out how much you need, and then add half again – you always spend more than you think.
Rain coat and umbrella
It's easy to think that going on holiday involves sun and sand – but being under prepared means you'll have to spend the whole day indoors without those good old British essentials, the umbrella and rain mac, should you decide to take the weather with you.
Sun hat and cream
It's easy to think that going on holiday involves sun and sand – and hopefully it will! So don't forget to keep the sun off your head. And remember, a folding sun hat might not look as trendy, but it saves you from having to wear it on the aeroplane on the way home.
All the things you normally forget...
Which are: medication, nail scissors, contact lens solution, glasses/reading glasses, contraception, spare batteries, hair-dryer, pain killers, bug spray, plasters, walking boots, sandals, belts, pyjamas, and a woolly jumper – learn from your previous mistakes!